2016 santa cruz 5010

Broken Shorts : Riverview

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[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQvG-55Uqtg[/embed] Long before I was a professional Motion Designer slaying the scene in NYC (and now PDX) I was a filmmaker. I made a film in Bangkok Thailand which was screened around the world in the Bicycle Film Festival. I even had the opportunity to work with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Anyways. It's been years since I've been remotely interested in getting back into film making. Technology is expensive and honestly I am really turned off on the whole my camera is better than your camera scene that comes along with it.

On my ride this morning I thought it would be fun to see what I could do with my little RX100. I am kinda stoked on how everything came out. With that said I am pretty interested in documenting my life in Portland and I might just start doing it on Youtube.

Mountain Biking and Bushwhacking Gales Creek

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Winter is just around the corner and the Pacific Northwest has been getting hammered with rain. Many of our weekends have been spent on the road bikes, looking at the weather and praying for a day to hit the trails. Just when it starts to get you down a window opens and your sitting in the back seat on your way to the trails. I am staring out the window. My eyes fixate on the clouds above. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve been on the Mountain bike. The separation is sobering. I know next to nothing about where we are headed. It’s better that way.

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We’re in the Tillamook Forest at the Gale Creek trail head. It’s really cold out and we’re all trying to figure out how much gear to wear. The creek is a river and the it rose during the storm is incredible. From here things just kept getting more interesting.

We make our way to the trail head. The dirt is good and I am tripping out on how fucking beautiful the forest is. Trees are down on the trail. One after another; yet we push forward. There are some runners off in the distance. We’re not alone. As they pull into focus we learn that they ran into a avalanche up ahead and turned around. The trail is gone and theres no way around it. Still, we pedal forward determined to see this wash out ourselves.

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The creek is a river and we need to cross it. It’s cold out and no one wants to get there feet wet. I am indifferent and accept my wet fate. Michael on the other hand…. was determined to keep his feet dry. Soon after we find ourselves confronted with the washed out trail. Theres only one way around it and that way is up. This is the part of the ride where mountain biking turns into bushwhacking. Every mountain bike ride should be this awesome!

The bushwhack worked and we’re back on the trail. The rest of the ride was made up of incredible single track with dozens of water crossings. Too many to count. Jeff led the effort in clearing the trail with a packable saw and together we took care most of the down trees. I learned an important lesson on being a good trail steward and definitely have plans to start carrying a hand saw on future rides.

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You can download information and the trail map to Gales Creek here : http://tillamookforestcenter.org/resources/Gales_Creek_Trail.pdf

Falls Creek

It’s November and the Pacific Northwest is getting pounded with cold weather. We’re in route to the Falls Creek trail head located just out of Carson, Washington in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Like most of the trips I’ve been on with this crew I don’t really know what to expect. What I do know is that I’ll be in for an incredible day on the Mountain Bike. No questions asked. If the wife is ok with it I am in. It’s cold out and we’re all trying to figure out what to wear. I am told the first half of the ride is a climb so it’s all just a shot in the dark. The trail head drops us into the forest and soon enough we’re climbing. The group fans out. We all climb at our own pace. I constantly have to remind myself to take in the experience and not get lost in the pain of climbing. The climb kicks up hard. We fight to keep our front wheel on the ground.

The climb gives way to the sound of the Falls Creek water fall. The trail is light dusted in snow. We take a moment for the view. I feel lucky to be here.

The trail continues to roll through the forest and as we gain elevation the snow begins to thicken. A couple miles from the top we decide it’s best to turn around. Don’t worry this ride was meant to be an out and back. On the snow covered trail we prepare for our descent. I put on a fresh wool jersey and gloves. Nothing lifts the spirits like dry gear.

"The gradual grade of this 9 mile trail slowly climbs away from Falls Creek and crosses 2 creeks before reaching the waterfall in approximately 2.5 miles. Falls Creek surges over rocks and timber cascading from a height of 100 feet, creating a gentle mist below. Approximately 3 miles from the trailhead a large clear pool about 50 feet wide and 10 feet deep, provides a lovely picnic spot. Elk, beaver and otter await the forest visitor.The trail continues on for 6.5 miles, crossing several forest roads, and terminates at Falls Creek Horse Camp on Forest Road 65.This is a popular mountain biking trail." - USDA Forest Service

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"Gifford Pinchot National Forest is a National Forest located in southern Washington, USA, managed by the United States Forest Service. With an area of 1.32 million acres (5300 km2), it extends 116 km along the western slopes of Cascade Range from Mount Rainier National Park to the Columbia River. The forest straddles the crest of the South Cascades of Washington State, spread out over broad, old growth forests, high mountain meadows, several glaciers, and numerous volcanic peaks. The forest's highest point is at 12,276 ft. at the top of Mount Adams, the second tallest volcano in the state after Rainier. It includes the 110,000-acre (450 km2) Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, established by Congress in 1982.” - Wiki

Syncline : Shoestring and Little Moab

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It’s officially Fall in the Pacific Northwest. The rain is falling and soon the majority of our beloved trails will be covered in snow. Syncline is a trail system just 67 miles away from Downtown Portland and runs all year round. "If you aren’t familiar with the Burdoin Mountain - Coyote Wall - Catherine Creek areas, you’ve thus far missed out on experiencing one of the Gorge’s truly unique treasures. Situated just upstream from White Salmon on the Columbia River, these adjacent areas feature rugged cliffs, Oregon white oak woodlands, wide open meadows and sweeping views of the Gorge that rival any other around. The unique soils and climate have created some very special plant communities that include many endemic and rare wildflowers that deliver a spectacular succession of colorful displays. And with unique plant communities come unique species of animals that are equally as rare as the plants they rely upon for habitat.” - Washington Trails Association 

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Our latest adventure started with the long climb up Little Maui and Rim View Rd. The views are gorgeous and I could do hill repeats all day on that trail alone. We connected with Shoestring dropping us into a twisty canyon of tight single track covered in Fall leaves. As the group pulled away I found myself all over the trail. I back off realizing I need to ride at my much slower pace to not only enjoy the ride but to eventually become a better rider. Michael has a catastrophic flat which destroys his rear rim. It’s been an odd day of mechanicals. As Michael walks back to the car we get in one last loop climbing up the Jeep Trail and connecting it with Little Moab. Hugging the cliffside Little Moab is littered with challenging rock gardens and formations. Again as the group pulls off I find myself off the back and over the bars. I am relatively new to Mountain Biking so everyday on the trail is a learning experience and I am ready for more!

Syncline : My First Mountain Bike Ride in Oregon

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I spent all winter in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was the worst winter the city had seen in over 50 years. Good things come to those who wait. New York is behind me now. I will never go back. I am back in Portland Oregon and we’re driving into Washington on our way to Syncline. This is my first experience mountain biking in the Pacific Northwest and it’s raining hard. I am assured that the weather system near Hood River will be perfect so I sit back and take in the amazing Columbia River.

Sure enough the rain fades into a brilliant blue and we’re bathed in sunlight as we pull onto Courtney Road.

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